When the epic science fiction action thriller “Avatar” is screened in Vietnam on December 18, it will make the news here merely by being part of the world premiere of the film.
But much, much more is apparently at stake for the film and for the moviemaking industry.
Moviegoers and industry insiders are waiting with bated breath to see how the film will fare the world over, with the latter hoping, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, “it will transform 21st century movie making the way sound and color did decades ago.”
Directed by James Cameron, master storyteller of “Titanic” and “Terminator”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Aliens” fame, “Avatar” has been heralded as a groundbreaking, even revolutionary film.
Set on Pandora, a planet filled with alien life forms, “Avatar” tells the story of former Marine Jake, who must choose between his personal honor and his supposed duty to people who have tasked him in a program named “Avatar.” This is invented by human scientists to create “a bridge of trust” with the Na’vi blue humanoids, who are trying to defend their home against an invasion from Earth. Step by step Jake finds out the underlying truth and takes action.
A Megastar (one of the theaters that will screen the film in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) pre release quotes Cameron as saying he wants audiences to have a completely satisfying cinematic experience.
“I hope the audiences will walk out the theater saying, ‘I didn’t see a movie; I experienced a movie.’”
The newest RealD 3D used in the film can create crisp, bright, ultra-realistic images and they are so lifelike that the viewer will feel like she/he has stepped into the movie. The RealD 3D glasses look like sunglasses that fit all moviegoers.
The futuristic thriller has been billed as the most expensive movie ever with estimates ranging between US$300 and $500 million.
But the focus on all the technology could make for a weak story line, some critics have remarked. They doubt that Cameron’s “Titanic” – a love story that touched hearts independent of the technology – can be replicated, that Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana could create the magic that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet did.
According to representative from Megastar Media, Vu Phuong, Vietnamese theatres have crossed many borders and regulations to bring “Avatar” on the world premiere day to Vietnam.
“The first condition issued by the company is ensuring copyright security for the first screening week. In the first three days, we will apply strict checks to ensure that no electronic devices like mobile phones or cameras are used in the theaters,” said Phuong.
In Vietnam, the movie will be released on the same day as Bay rong (Clash), an expected blockbuster starring Ngo Thanh Van and Johnny Tri Nguyen.
“Avatar” will be screened at the Megastar, Dong Da, Galaxy, Thang Long and Lotte theatres and at Megastar Media’s first 3D theaters, opened last October in Hanoi and HCMC.
Reported by Kim